Am I too old to still enjoy a good young adult fiction book (embarrassing note: I got through all the Twilight books in less than a month )? Should I stop watching Real World, Vampire Diaries, Degrassi (and not the one that was popular when I was more age appropriate), and bad coming of age teen movies? Do I need to close my ears to Justin Bieber, Rhianna, and Ke$ha (yup, I remembered the $), and was it wrong that I walked into my wedding with my husband to Levels by Avicii? When is it not okay to partake in all things youth culture?
I ask myself this all the time but then come to the realization that I can indeed sit with my friends, of the same age, and have a conversation about the season finale of Vampire Diaries or get a good Twilight-esque book referral. I guess the question then becomes not, what is my deal for liking all things youth demographic focused, but what is wrong with all of us liking these things? Why do we enjoy watching tv shows about teenagers using lingo that we have to google to understand (like honestly, wtf is with YOLO?), music that we even think is potentially crossing the line (I am talking to you Miley, put some clothes on!), and get so enraptured in a book about a teen lost in some sort of post-apocalyptic society trying to find her way.
One of my theories is that since 30 is the new 20 (I am holding onto to this likely false convention with all my might since I turned 30) we only start to see ourselves as adults in our late 20s or early 30s and therefore take that long to yearn for the simplicity of things from our youth. I can never recall being in my 20s and ever thinking about how fun things used to be and why would I when things were still so fun.
My second theory is that it is not age that makes us feel old and nostalgic but when one gets a real grown up person full time job, whether that be at 22 or 32. I was never thinking about how simple and incredible life used to be until I got a real big girl job (the waking up is the worst, isn’t it!?). So maybe we are all flying to Never Never Land with our Peter Pan syndrome because it now takes us well into our mid to late 20s to get a real job, a real life, and a reality check. Maybe this is why we long for the social aspects of high school/college, the seemingly simple life as half of a blood sucking vampire couple, or dance around in our living room singing, “shine bright like a diamond” at the top of our lungs. Whatever it is that makes us not want to grow up and when we finally do makes us want to cling to what used to be via horribly written books, delightful tv shows, and music we will never admit to listening to, I am happy I am not alone. We are all lost in the denial of growing up together and we are all happily doing it at a much later age than generations of the past. For this I blame the internet (I am talking to you ICQ, AoL, Napster, and Yahoo…and Miley Cyrus).
Don’t get me wrong, I am sufficiently embarrassed when I am cranking the latest Selena Gomez jam in my car with the windows down. I will turn it all the way down when I hit a red light because I just don’t need the judging of the person in the next car that likely wouldn’t even hear it and definitely does not give the tiniest shit. I am just happy that none of my friends would judge me for it since we are all in this land of denial and process of acceptance together in our very youthful early 30s.
YOLO, right? (I lied. I know what it means. Thanks google.)